Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

David Smith: Combine Brexit and Labour for the scariest of nightmares

David Smith: Combine Brexit and Labour for the scariest of nightmares

Jeremy Corbyn will back a second Brexit referendum if Labour members vote for one during this week's party conference.

Corbyn appeared on the BB'C's Andrew Marr Show this morning and said he hoped there would be a general election soon.

"There will be a clear vote in the conference", said Corbyn.

"What comes out of conference I will adhere to".

"For Labour to adopt a second referendum policy would spell political disaster in all those Labour seats that voted leave", said Brendan Chilton of the pro-Brexit group Labour Leave.

He added: 'But I was elected to empower the members of the party. "So if conference makes a decision I will not walk away from it and I will act accordingly".

His comments came as a poll found 86% of Labour members think voters should have the final say on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, and 90% would now vote to remain in the EU.

But the impasse with the European Union has prompted some to predict an early election, with local media reporting that May's team has begun contingency planning for a snap vote in November to save both Brexit and her job.

Two senior members of her political team responded to her humiliation last week in Salzburg by "wargaming" an autumn vote to win public backing for her plan, the paper said.

Corbyn has been under increasing pressure from supporters to back calls for a second referendum, and has until now been reluctant to do so.

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She was speaking at a Jewish Labour Movement event at the Labour party conference in Liverpool.

After weeks of both European Union and British officials making positive noises about the prospects of clinching a divorce deal and one on a future trading relationship, the mood turned sour on Thursday in Salzburg, Austria when European Union leaders came out, one by one, to criticise "Chequers" as unrealistic.

Labour's conference starts today as a YouGov poll revealed 86% of members want a second referendum on the United Kingdom leaving the EU.

The support of the main opposition party would be a major boost to campaigners for a second vote on Brexit.

Some 81% believe their standard of living would get worse after Brexit and 89% said it would be bad for jobs.

Prior to his announcement, which came in an interview with the Mirror, Corbyn was urged to back members of his party by Labour deputy Tom Watson.

He told Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "It seems to me inconceivable that if the Labour Party conference decides that it wants a manifesto pledge on a people's vote that we would defy that decision".

But shadow chancellor John McDonnell warned on Saturday that a second referendum could stoke racial tensions and far-right populism. "The question I think that has to be answered now by the government, by the European Union leaders, is what room for movement is there, how do we move on from where we ended up last week?"

Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite trade union, a powerful Labour ally, said British voters had chose to leave the EU and "for us now to enter some kind of campaign that opens up that issue again I think would be wrong".

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